SYDNEY, NSW: According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics retail turnover for September in comparison to the same period last year rose 6.4 per cent in 2009. Sales also grew 1.4 per cent over the quarter. Australian Retailers Association executive director Russel Zimmerman commented on the pleasing news for the industry.

"The concern for retailers now is to keeping consumer spirits high in the lead up to Christmas. Although the reinstatement of the ABS trend series shows modest retail sales growth for most of the year, retailers would still like to see some stronger figures before they declare recovery,” he said.

"The message to consumers who may be feeling unsettled after two consecutive interest rate rises is to responsibly enjoy the gift giving spirit of Christmas knowing the Australian economy is on its way to recovery.”

According to the ABS figures, all states around Australia witnessed growth in retail trade for September.  "September retail trade increased in all states (NSW 0.5%, VIC 0.5%, QLD 0.1%, SA 0.1%, WA 0.3%, TAS 0.4%, NT 0.1 and ACT 0.5%) and was a pleasing result for retailers who are preparing for a stronger Christmas trading period,” he said. "New South Wales and Victoria experienced the strongest growth and this is most likely due to the Spring Racing Carnival celebrations in these states.”

The results highlighted that cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services were the best off with a 1 per cent growth, followed by clothing, footwear and fashion retailers with a 0.4 per cent rise. Household goods retailing was up 0.2 per cent and department stores also saw an increase of 0.1 per cent. Other sectors remained unchanged.